UPA sees no reason to celebrate NDA's nuke tests;Minister

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New Delhi, May 03 (UNI) The UPA government saw no reason for celebrating this month the 10th anniversary of nuclear tests at Pokhran in Rajasthan by the Vajpayee government with Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju saying "we see no reason for any celebration".

The anniversary falls on May 11 and 13.

The governmentS stand was slammed by BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar who said ''This only reflects the narrow mindedness of the Congress party.They cannot look beyond one family.'' In an interview to CNN-IBN, the Minister said ''I think being proud of the (nuclear) programme in itself is a reason for celebration, we see no reason for any celebration.'' Asked if the UPA was denying the Vajpayee government credit for the tests, Mr Raju said; ''There is no reason to credit any government. The strategic programme of this country is not the contribution of the NDA government.'' Justifying the government stand, he said the tests resulted in sanctions that hit India's strategic programme."It has brought sanctions....that have affected most of our strategic programme that were of importance to the nation. So I don't see any reason why it should be advertised loudly." The Minister further said ''looking at policies that India has pursued in terms of being a non-first user, all that speaks about the deterrence policy we follow. Also being a very responsible nuclear power we have not been a proliferater and India's nuclear record speaks for its responsible behaviour.'' UNI SAA PDT KP1847

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